Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Gates of Hell Opened Up for the JROTC Debate

Fair Warning...this is one long-assed post!

Ever wonder where the Gates of Hell are? Some of you may think they’re behind the Customer Service desk at every Wal-Mart, but those just lead to Hell’s attic. At various points in time, the true Gates have been in a bunker in Berlin, in a field in Cambodia, and in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Being of the occult and supernatural nature, the Gates of Hell have located themselves in various spots around the globe during different epochs in history. They open wherever and whenever great wrongs are being committed against all sanity. Once again, I claim that the Gates of Hell are currently located under the sign at Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco. Nowhere in the current world is there a greater spawning ground of sheer and utter lunacy.

The City by the Bay sends its tentacles out to Sacramento, where they’ve turned the Republican Governor into a quasi-liberal spineless RINO, and are even trying to make it so that Big Liberal Government can dictate what color your car can be. The tentacles surround and embrace Lost Angeles, where the Hollyweird elite and effete liberals breed like flies on fresh turds. They reach to the far woods of NorCal, where if you listen hard enough, you can hear the granola crunching and the trees groaning under the weight of being hugged to death by enviro-nazis serving up Global Warming-flavored Kool Aid. They reach to the far southern border to Meh-hee-ko, where the SoCal liberals welcome illegals with open arms and have made the border so porous that if you launch a flare at 2AM it’s the equivalent of flipping on a light in a dirty hovel and seeing the roaches scramble.

And then there’s San Fran’s very own Orthus, the two-headed Hellhound related to Cerberus. One head is Dianne Feinstein and the other is Nancy Pelosi, both eager to destroy all that America used to stand for. They won’t stop until they crucify everyone who was in the Bush administration in one giant Stalinist purge.

Not everyone in California is insane, despite evidence to the contrary. Notable exceptions to the lunacy include the former and current Congressional Representatives from the 52d District; Duncan Duane Hunter, who succeeded his father, the estimable Duncan Lee Hunter, continues the good fight.

And remember, I’m not a Republican so as much as you may think that I’ve lost my mind, I must give some solid props to a Democrat, namely 12th District Representative to the State Assembly Fiona Ma.


Lay on, MacDuff…

You see, it seems that in that 9th Circle of Hell called San Francisco, a movement is afoot to remove the JROTC programs from high schools. That icky military…phooey!

Pentagon officials, calling JROTC "an important academic and citizenship program for high school students," say they're hopeful the program will be saved. But they also say there are 700 schools in the country that are waiting to adopt the program if San Francisco drops it.

Opponents of JROTC programs, meanwhile, say educating students should remain a role for civilians, and not for retired members of the armed forces. Um… hey, assholes, guess what? They are civilians. They just happen to be military retirees who still give back to the community and the nation by educating kids who have a desire to learn something beyond the three R’s that our failing schools teach. You flakes are just getting all bent out of shape because those civilians don their service uniforms when they teach class. Would you piss, moan, and bitch about, say, an algebra teacher or biology teacher who wore khakis and a tie but was also a military retiree? I guess you’d rather weed out anyone with military experience from teaching, I suppose.

The fight began two years ago, when San Francisco's school board voted to phase out JROTC programs by the end of the 2007-08 school year, citing recruitment concerns and the military's policy toward gays. Admittedly, the military has never exactly been very liberal, nor even progressive socially. However, life sucks and comes with no guarantees. Besides, Obama wants to drop the current “don’t ask/don’t tell” and let gays openly serve, so the Bay City should stop whining and let the JROTC be.

The program was extended for another year, but last June, under threats of a lawsuit for not enforcing tougher state education standards, the school board voted to stop granting gym credits to JROTC students and to offer JROTC as an elective course only. Immediately, enrollment in JROTC dropped dramatically. (I always thought JROTC was an elective. Did I miss something? And since when did you get gym credit for it? Then again, some drill & ceremony, marching, and perhaps the occasional obstacle course is better than some of the bullshit I had in gym class, like square dancing.)

State assemblywoman Fiona Ma, a Democrat from San Francisco, recently submitted legislation that would reinstate JROTC at seven of the city's public schools and overturn the original decision by its Unified School District to phase out the program.

State Assemblywoman Fiona Ma

"Hat's off to Fiona Ma to try and save this program," said Jay Agg, a spokesman for AMVETS, a group of 180,000 U.S. veterans. "We hope she's successful — it'd be a real shame to deprive students in San Francisco or any other city the opportunity to reap the benefits of the program."

Among those benefits, Agg said, are the instruction of several key "life skills," including positive values and morals, strong leadership and community service.

"You're taking advantage of an opportunity to teach morals and honor and discipline and love of country," Agg said. "You want them to learn at a young age to be a good leader."

Aye, there’s the rub. The Libs don’t want kids to learn anything positive from anything related to the military establishment. They want you learning Socialism and Bailouts.

Ma's bill — which passed out of an education committee last week by a 6-3 vote — now heads to the state's Appropriations Committee. Assembly Bill 223 would then require a two-thirds vote in the Legislature to take effect immediately. Pentagon officials continue to monitor its progress.

State Bill 601, enacted last January, fortified physical education standards in California and requires the state’s Department of Education to monitor to what extent schools provide physical education instruction by gym teachers who hold appropriate credentials.

Last June, facing allegations that it was illegally granting physical education credits for JROTC classes, the San Francisco school board members voted to eliminate the gym credit.

Frankly, I’m amazed that they haven’t just eliminated gym, since it might promote competition. Isn’t it the Liberal Way to just give everyone a trophy so there’s no winner/loser and no one’s feelings get hurt. Hell, no one gets hurt at all if there’s no gym class, but I guess when the Governor is a former bodybuilder you sorta have to play nice with having gym classes until they vote him out of office.

"Since none of our JROTC instructors hold appropriate physical education credentials, that's one factor the board took into consideration," said spokeswoman Gentle Blythe, who also noted that State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell wrote a letter last April to Colonel Michael Johnson, who oversees California's JROTC programs, stating that JROTC classes do not, in most cases, fulfill the state's requirements for physical education.

Enrollment in the city's seven JROTC programs, which had already dropped from 1,600 students in 2006-07 to 1,050 in 2007-08, sank to about 500 this year once the phys-ed credit was removed. Just prior to and during the early part of that time, I hasten to point out, there was much ballyhoo and sniveling at San Francisco State University by weasel-dicks trying to keep military recruiters and ROTC off campus, which I’m sure didn’t help interest in the JROTC programs.

Ma claims the decrease in enrollment has coincided with the school board's decision to eliminate the gym credit. The Department of Education was unable to provide statistics on the number of schools that offer physical education credits for JROTC programs, but at least two states, Florida and Alabama, specifically list ROTC programs as an option for fulfilling the requirement.

In other cities like Chicago, which has at least 34 JROTC programs at city high schools, students receive physical education credit for participation, said Frank Shuftan, a spokesman for Chicago Public Schools. In New York, students do not, according to Department of Education spokeswoman Margie Feinberg. I’m rather surprised that there’s JROTC in Chicago, which is currently Hell’s anteroom; while the Gates themselves are not there, I do believe there’s an open window, or at least a doggie-door.

If you recall, the University of Chicago still proudly bans ROTC from its campus, along with Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Tufts and Stanford, a pathetic remnant of their protests of the Vietnam War.

Established by Congress in 1916, JROTC was an Army program before it was expanded to all branches of the armed forces in 1964. The program is now the Defense Department's largest youth development program, with more than 480,000 students enrolled nationwide in about 3,400 secondary schools. In 2007-08 alone, Lainez said, those students performed more than 7 million hours of community service.

Agg said the programs also provide invaluable health benefits to students.
"At a time when obesity and physical fitness are such important issues in America, this is not the time to be cutting back on physical education," he said. "It's a critical area and an important education piece, and JROTC does have a physical fitness element to it."

Vicky Chung, a senior at San Francisco's Lowell High School, told members of the Assembly during an April 1 hearing that the city's school board was not "thinking critically" when it voted to end JROTC programs that she said have taught her the importance of a higher education.

"Please, please, please use your power to intervene on our behalf," Chung said, according to prepared remarks. "I feel as [if] I'm back in the '50s and '60s, fighting for my civil liberties when the suppressors continue to force policies on me, limiting my freedoms, my rights, my choices."

Well said, young lady. The Left wants to control your choices and limit your freedoms, and you wisely see right through them at your young age of 17 or 18. I salute you.

By the way, Miss Chung is slated to go into a pre-med program at UC Davis after graduation instead of into the military.

Ma said school board members should "uphold the will of the voters," and cited Proposition V, a resolution that urged the school board to retain JROTC programs. It passed with 55 percent of the vote in November.

"We should be doing as much as we can to get children to stay in school and promote leadership development and community service," Ma told "This is about the students' right to choose and about programs that work."

But critics of Ma's proposal, including Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, and members of Veterans for Peace say there's no place for military programs on high school campuses.

"Regardless of how you feel about JROTC, it is unprecedented for the state to mandate that an individual district offer an elective, non-critical program for a small number of students," he said. This is about respecting the rights of local elected school boards to make their own decisions." Since when have the Libs ever worried about local rights when they’re all about a big, babysitting, central socialized system?

Hal Muskat, an Army veteran who refused to serve in Vietnam, said he doesn't want his tax dollars going to what he calls "military training" for high school students.

"This is military training, it's that simple," said Muskat, now a member of Veterans for Peace. "This is about softening up very impressionable, open-minded, young teenagers to the cult of militarism. Military skills have no place in public schools."

What utter bullshit. Sounds just like the same sort of hippy crap my own high school guidance counselor used to spout at us. Back in 1986 and 87, when I was a tadpole at Robert W. Traip Academy in Kittery, Maine, my guidance counselor was Phil Cheney, and Phil didn’t like the military much. Seems he’d had a shitty enlistment in the Army and thereafter thought that anyone considering the military was wasting their time and his. Unless you said you were going off to college he had nothin’ for you…

He had my buddy Chris Cunningham in his office and looked at him across the table and asked imperiously,” So, what are Christopher’s plans after graduation?” to which Chris said,” I dunno. He’s across the table from you so why don’t you ask him?” I was called in and was promptly dismissed after telling him I was headed into the military after graduation instead of off to college.

Chris went on to college after his enlistment in the Marines. I went to college after the Army. In fact, pretty much all of us who went into the various service branches after we left Traip went on to college. How do you think we paid for college? Why do you think we’ve all achieved a fair modicum of success in our lives? Because we learned self-confidence and discipline and traveled the world in the service of our nation before we went to continue our educations.

Our school lacked a JROTC program. We were a very small school of 450 kids, too small for a program of our own and besides, Phil Cheney would have rather choked on his necktie than have allowed it. He was verily apoplectic when we complained to the principal to get recruiters into the school to meet with us (we were in cahoots with them anyways, since every last one of us was well-known in the recruiting offices already).

By and large, JROTC programs aren’t necessarily perfect recruiting tools. Statistically, only small numbers of kids enrolled actually enlist and take advantage of the advanced-rank placement status. But the things these kids learn, like confidence and discipline and focus, can keep them goal-oriented, help keep them off drugs, and be their foundation of success in the workplace or in higher education.

Even in a military school, there’s no guarantee that a kid will enlist or take a commission upon graduation. Here in South Carolina, we have our own military college, The Citadel, whose Corps of Cadets lives a 100% military academy lifestyle for their time at the school, but on average only about 30% of the graduates take their commissions upon graduation. The rest enter the civilian workforce with a high degree of success. I read somewhere that about 50% of VMI grads do service time, and also read that about 40% of the graduates of the US Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point, New York serve in the Navy after graduating while the rest go on to civilian maritime careers.

It’s high time that people quit looking upon those of us who take an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, like we’re psychopathic pariahs. Stop demonizing us for having served our country. I mean, hell….on that same criteria of hating us for our service, for doing our honorable duty, shouldn’t you all also be hating cops, firemen, doctors, and nurses, too? Just hate everyone who gives of themselves without you and your Socialist programs taking it from us.

1 comment:

WomanHonorThyself said...

They won’t stop until they crucify everyone who was in the Bush administration in one giant Stalinist spot on my friend!!!